May 30, 2008


山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
[the title, 兵庫に翔びましょう! (Hyôgo ni tobimashô!) means "let's fly to Hyôgo!". Although the usual kanji for "tobimasu", to fly, is this one: 飛 , I used the first kanji of Shoon's name, that has [to] as an alternative reading =)] As you know, there were 13 performances of "Full House" at the Globe Theater in Tokyo from May 2nd to May 11th, and there will be 4 more performances from today, May 30th, to June 1st at the Hyôgo Performing Arts Center (pic on the left), in the prefecture of Hyôgo.

Hyôgo is a bit far from Tokyo, as you can see on the map on the right, so even though it's work, for Shoon it will also be a bit of a vacation. =) On his latest entry on the Full House J-Web, he was happily planning on all the good things he was going to eat. XD
(rough translation) We'll be starting the Hyôgo performances soon. I'm excited; I haven't been to the Kansai area in a long time. And there are so many delicious things to eat there! (literally: "I'm going to eat a lot of delicious things.")
Apparently he eats a lot. XD On another Full House J-Web entry Kazama says that you can see Shoon eating all the time: during rehearsals, before the performances, after the performances... LOL It's good to know he has such a healthy apetite. =)

Murakami Hiroki, the playwright and director of "Full House", mentioned on his official blog ( that he left for Hyôgo on May 21st:
(rough translation) I'm 34 already and I still get excited when I take a plane even though this is a work trip. However, I'm sleepy! I got up at 5!
I wonder if they all went together: the actors, the director, and the staff. In that case Shoon might have been in Hyôgo for over a week now. And by this time the first performance (which was at 6PM) must be over.

The Hyogo Performing Arts Center is HUGE (see map below), though of course that is because it has a grand hall (for classical music concerts), a theatre hall, and a recital hall, plus restaurant, shop... and even a piazza with very tall columns that reminds me of an Egyptian temple.

The building is so different from the small, quaint Tokyo Globe. (click on the pics below to see them in full size - all open in a new window) And with that modern design it looks a bit imposing, doesn't it? XD

Hyogo Performing Arts Center interior of the HPAC piazza

Unfortunately the pictures of the theater area on the site are rather small. This is a view of the seats area:

And these are different views of the theater hall and adjoining areas. Kind of cold and impersonal, isn't it? Ah, I don't like modern architecture. XD;;;

Anyway, I'm sure Kazama, Machida, Yonehana, Shoon, and the audience laughter will make it a much warmer place during these three days. ^__^v

I wonder if they fared well with the first performance. It's been almost 3 weeks since the last Tokyo performance. I imagine this first one was a bit of a warming up for them. I hope a lot of people will go to see these 4 last performances. I need to make a proper post with all the info I've gathered from posts on Japanese blogs about the Tokyo performances, but I guess I'll wait till I've gathered enough tidbits about the Hyôgo ones too. =) For those of you who are not members of the Shoon community, the play is being a huge success. Also, according to all the people who've gone to see it, Shoon is doing a great job. ^__^v My friend Scribe, whom I deem as a highly objective person, actually thinks after seeing the play that "Shoon is currently the best actor among the juniors. Hands down". But... most important of all, Shoon is having loads of fun and learning a lot. =)

As a side note, Enshinge's translation of the crosstalk from the Full House pamphlet has made me wonder how exactly this play came to be. There's a moment in which Shoon tells Murakami-san: You’ve written this based on your images of us four, but I was wondering what kind of image you had of me.

This made me ponder because Shoon says Murakami-san wrote the play with the images of the four of them in mind. I mean... Was this play tailored to (as in "written expressly for") Kazama, Yonehana, Machida, and Shoon? Was Murakami-san thinking of them for the roles of this play, and then he presented the idea to Johnny's Entertainment? Or did Johnny's Entertainment ask him to write a play tailored to them? Somehow I think the first possibility is more unlikely, and if the second possibility is how it happened... Well, that would mean JE sees Shoon as a really important asset because, if they didn't, why would they ask a playwright to write a play with Shoon in the leading role right at the time when it was becoming obvious they needed to give Shoon some spotlight?

PS: I'm very excited and a bit nervous too. A friend of mine always says that when you're hoping something will happen you shouldn't tell anyone about it because then it's likely it won't happen. He's a bit superstitious, you see. XD Well, I guess I am too. Just a little though. But this would mean so much to me...
Therefore, I guess I'd better not say much. A small something might or might not have flown to Hyôgo today, and something might or might not happen. I know it sounds like a riddle, but please cross your fingers for me! =D
PS2: still have lots of comments to reply. m(_ _)m
PS3: For those of you who have endured this post until the end, here's a little prize: a couple of scans are a Stand by Me article from the 2003.08 issue of Top Stage. =) Just right-click on them to save the full size scans. Shoon looked so pixie-like back then. X3

Please credit me if you repost these elsewhere. Also... no hotlinking please. Thanks. =) Feel free to use them for icons, graphics, or to translate this article. Credits appreciated but not necessary.

2003.08 Top Stage  - 2003.08 Top Stage  -

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yahPOST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS

May 16, 2008

Koyama onii-chan

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Just to let you know that I'm alive -busy but alive ^^- and to post a short something I found today on the blog of NoA, a Japanese friend and Ya-Ya-yah and Shoon fan fellow. =) Apart from being a NEWS fan and a Massu fan.

Koyama's entry on the J-Web,「メンバー愛」(Menbâ Ai - love (comradeship rather) between the members of a group/unit) Loose translation by me. Please feel free to point out any mistakes. ^_^

(Today) I had lunch with Yabu and Hikaru.

『Hi! Hey! Say!』のスタッフさんがお食事会を開いてくれたんです!!
...because the Hi!Hey!Say! staff held a party!! (i.e. a party with food and drinks)

It was the first party we had with Yabu and Hikaru since the show started

And all of us started bringing up nostalgic memories!!

When they played a prank on me, when we stayed the night in Osaka and got up to tape the show on location...

The conversation just didn't run out.

This show was the starting point for me!

I've made a promise to Yabu and Hikaru: we'll make a more enjoyable show of it

俺熱く語るの好きでさー 薮と光にはうざかったかな笑?
As for my fondness of making passionate speeches... Yabu, Hikaru... Did I annoy you? LOL

Please forgive me. It's just that your "onii-chan" (older brother in a figurative sense) loves his job too much.

Anyway, it was a great get-together!!

...with the two best little brothers!!

(the brown one is for Koyama. ^__~) Even though he says "Hi!Hey!Say!" because that's the name of the show now, it's obvious that the memories he's talking about refer to Ya-Ya-yah. =) I'm glad he's there for Yabu and Hikaru, and it's very touching that he says that the show was the starting point for him.

PS: note to self - must try and find the time to answer all the comments piling up. ^^;;;

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yahPOST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS

May 02, 2008

the curtain rises

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I'm as nervous as if I was the one to stage the play. I've only acted once in my life, and that was when I was in university. We staged a scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth for a class assignment, and I played the role of Banquo, Macbeth's friend. You should have seen me, with my cloak and sword.

Anyway. Right now it's 7PM in Japan. The curtain is rising at The Tokyo Globe theatre. Shoon, Kazama, Yonehana, and Machida are about to start their first performance of Full House. And I want to cry for not being there. T__T Since the play was announced many times I've been on the brink of doing something stupid and romantic: getting a ticket even though it was impossible for me to go. That way there would have been an empty seat, and at least I would have been there in spirit. In the end common sense prevailed and I guess it's for the best, because I've seen some tickets go up to 16,000 yens at Yahoo!Japan auctions. [The original price of the tickets for the most expensive seats were 8000 yens] Besides I wasn't going to be able to go anyway, so it wouldn't have been fair to rob anybody who was of the chance to go.

I suppose I can still be there in spirit without a ticket, and I hope there won't be any empty seats. So far all the tickets up for auction have been sold or there's people bidding on them. =)

As a history teacher of mine used to say, imagination is the way of travelling for those who cannot travel, and one thing I have is a good imagination. That, coupled with some pictures I grabbed from the theatre's website should do the trick. ^__~ Want to come with me?

I don't know why they call it "The Globe Tokyo". It should be "The Tokyo Globe", or at least "The Globe, Tokyo". =/ It's inspired in The Globe, a theatre that was built in London by Shakespeare's company in the 16th century.

This is what the building looks like from the outside.

And this is the a picture of the poster that shows the play being currently staged. =) I grabbed this one from the blog of the play writer and director, Murakami Hiroki.

The theatre entrance...

And now we're inside, in the theatre lobby.

This is what the stage looks like from the seats area. I feel jealous but at the same time really happy to know a number of people who will be sitting there in the next days (Yui, Mabel, Aki, Scribe...). We want detailed reports from you! =D

And this is a photo taken from the stage. This is what Shoon will be seeing, only the seats won't be empty, of course. =)

This is his third time to stage a play in this theatre, so it should feel like home to him. [The first time was in 2003, when Ya-Ya-yah staged Stand by Me, and the second one the year after, 2004, when they staged the same play again.]

I imagine you're having stage nerves right now, Shoon, but I'm sure you'll do great. I send you all my strength and wish this play will be a HUGE success. 頑張って下さいね~ ♥ All the promotional stuff (articles, TV appearances, etc.) has been so much fun and so exciting. Here's hoping this will lead to even better things. =) *goes back to work*

PS: The counter I set up for the countdown wasn't working properly for some reason. As I was typing this it said there were still 7 hours to go before the curtain rises. ?__?

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yahPOST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS